First established in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Heath Day is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. The mental health charity Mind cites that one in four of us will be affected by a mental health problem in any given year, so it’s really important we all take steps to look after our mental wellbeing, however we are feeling right now.
At 387 Vets, one of the ways we remember to be kind to ourselves and to look after ourselves mentally is through our wellbeing window. It’s a dedicated noticeboard in our kitchen so we can have a browse while the kettle boils. Anyone can contribute, and the board includes funny cartoons, photos that make us smile, tips for better self-care, brain-teasers to have a go at while the kettle boils and inspirational quotes. There’s normally a longer article too on improving our mental (and sometimes physical!) wellbeing around a specific theme. We’ve had features on better sleep, mindful tea breaks, the benefits of getting outside at lunchtime – even healthy seasonal eats. This month, with the mornings getting darker, the focus is on ways to help us get out of bed in the morning for a more energised, positive start to the day! See below for some top tips!
For some of us, it can be difficult to get out of bed and when we do, we feel sluggish and can’t seem to get going. Owning the morning sets you up for the day and gets you off on the right foot!
Set your alarm a little earlier!
Getting up before everyone else gives you your own special, undisturbed time. Waiting until the rest of the household is awake can put you on the back foot for the rest of the day. Resist the temptation to to peek at social media feeds as you run the risk of stretching a quick peek to minutes and more. This is YOU time.
Don’t hit the snooze button!
Hitting the snooze button is only putting off the inevitable – you don’t actually sleep for those 8 or so extra minutes – and those 8 extra minutes could make all the difference to you feeling in control before you head out of the house. Motivational speaker Mel Robbins notes that you have 5 seconds before your brain having an impulse or idea to acting on it. So when your alarm goes off, get up straight away, and combat any urge to snuggle back under the duvet!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Resist the urge to reach straight for the coffee, and drink the biggest glass of water you can manage first. Recover from night time dehydration – your body is 70% water and it’s been 7-8 hours since you last drank. THEN have coffee if you need it.
Open the curtains
Letting in natural sunlight as soon as possible helps you support your natural wakefulness rhythms and tells your body to wake up as the day is starting.
Get that energy flowing
Exercising first thing is great for your mindset – and your body! There may be a million things you would rather do, but even only a couple of minutes of light yoga, stretching, or even dancing round the kitchen, gets the blood pumping and your circulation going. And gives you a sense of achievement too.
Make mornings simple
Does the thought of everything you need to do before you leave the house make you want to hide under the covers? Look for ways to do your less enticing activities at night so your mornings are smooth sailing. Have your lunch ready to go, make sure your bag is packed for work, leave out your next day’s clothes, make sure you know where your car keys are! See how you can pare down the jobs you need to do to streamline your morning.
If motivation to get out of bed is your weakness, leave positive sticky notes where you can see them that encourage you to get up. It could be something like, ‘I’ve got time for real coffee’ or ‘I can eat breakfast outside’ or ‘I can read a chapter of my page-turner over breakfast’. If you’re going out for a jog or planning to make a super healthy breakfast it may be ‘Fit into that outfit!’ – whatever works for you!
Go get it!
A habit takes, on average, two months to become routine. So if some mornings don’t go to plan, be kind to yourself. Keep committing to getting mornings sorted now so that when November comes and we all feel like hibernating, you’re ahead of the game and have mornings nailed!
From lifehack.org and Katy Hill’s ‘Limitless Mornings!’ article: Sept/ Oct 2019 edition of ‘Fit and Well’ magazine